New Real Estate Laws for 2013

California new real estate laws are coming up effective January 1, 2013, and here are a few:

For transactions in homeowner associations, documents are ordered in escrow to go to the buyer, for which there are typically fees charged for the preparation of these documents.  A homeowner association cannot collect a cancellation fee for sales disclosure documents (1) when a written cancellation by the party ordering documents is received by the HOA before work is performed; and (2) when a written cancellation by the party ordering documents and HOA was compensated for any work performed--the HOA must refund all fees collected if a request is cancelled in writing and work had not yet been performed on the order.

Hazard Disclosures: Sellers must now disclose the location of gas and hazardous liquid pipelines, from information in a database.  This information would most likely be coming through hazard disclosure companies hired by the seller in escrow to make these and other disclosures.

Property owners will continue to have anti-deficiency protection on refinanced loans on their property, except for a refinance where cash is taken out. 

Month-to-month tenants of properties in foreclosure must be given 90-day notice to vacate after foreclosure--in six languages (after March, 2013, and there are 4 exceptions to this).  Lease tenants may remain until end of lease term under all terms of the agreement.

Helping Distressed Homeowners Keep Their Homes -- No dual tracking, meaning no sale of property if an alternate foreclosure prevention method has been approved in writing by all parties (investors, lienholders and mortgage insurers).  See my previous post .

Vacant REO properties must be maintained (an existing law which has not been extended indefinitely).

Foreclosure notices must have a summary of information accompanying them, in six languages.

Property taxes -- the death of a co-tenant will not trigger a reassessment of the property, providing certain conditions are met.

Buyers of foreclosed properties have opportunity to correct substandard conditions of at least 60 days before an enforcement agency can take further action.

If you would like the specific legal descriptions of any of these laws, please contact me with your e-mail and name information, I will be happy to forward you additional information!

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